soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen
according unto thy word" (Psalm
Everyone instinctively longs to pleasures, joy and
happiness. The feeling of joy pours cheerfulness and optimism into person, as
much as lack of joy makes life dull, gloomy and senseless.
Through Godís goodness, there are many things in
life which can gladden man. From the first moment after coming to the world,
man is pleased by some subjects and phenomena: nice food and drink, fresh air,
sun shine, beauty of nature, conversation with his nearest and dearest. As man
grows, he finds new sources of joy in deeper knowledge of the universe and its
harmonious laws, works of art, pieces of music and poetry. Manís ability to
differentiate between what is pleasing and what is not has a gigantic
significance for his physical and psychic development.
However, very soon man finds that physical and
aesthetic subjects only cannot satisfy him completely because he also has some
merely spiritual needs. These spiritual needs are expressed through inner,
subconscious longing for good, moral perfection and fellowship with God. This
longing creates his spiritual thirst and hunger. If man pays no attention to
the thirst of his soul, then it accumulates with time, strengthens and turns
into a blunt inside feeling of emptiness, discontent and gloom.
Man has never had such abundance and diversity of
entertainment as in the 20th century. The life is filled with
theaters, movies, musical entertainments and electronic games, sports
competitions, books, newspapers, magazines and so on. It seems that todayís man
should be many times as happy as his ancestors. It turns up to be the opposite,
though. Todayís man often feels very unfortunate, and even more unfortunate
than his parents and grandparents. Unprecedented modern epidemic of abuse of
tobacco, liquor, drugs, tranquilizers or stimulators is a convincing proof of
it. Moreover, it is known that a noticeable percentage of population in large
cities suffers from various mental diseases that even the best psychiatrists
cannot cure. The large number of psychic disorders can be explained only by the
disturbed balance of complex human nature: surfeit with entertainment and fun
on the one hand, and acute spiritual emptiness on the other.
These sorrowful observations of reality lead to
the conclusion that it is a must for a modern man to understand the cause of
the resulting spiritual crisis, and that he should, in
particular, pay attention to his spiritual needs. Understanding that it is
necessary to restore the balance between oneís physical needs and the demands
of the soul would push toward the start of spiritual life.
Spiritual life, as well as any inner process,
requires certain discipline and effort. But it is through this effort and
discipline that we gain peace and spiritual joy. Not each and every effort is
beneficial, of course, but only that shown to us by Our Creator and Savior
Himself, the effort described in the Gospel and implemented in the Church. God
gave Church everything soul seeks after: grace and truth. That is why we
satisfy our most lofty and noble pursuits by partaking in the Churchís life.
Blessed we are if we have the ability to understand it and change our life
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